Have you considered a career in community nursing?

Monday 24 September 2012

School nurse with child

Nurses are being urged to consider a career in district and school nursing at Guy's and St Thomas', as part of our commitment to bring care closer to where patients and clients live.

A careers fair is being held on Tuesday 25 September at St Thomas' Hospital, ground floor, Central Hall, 12 noon - 3pm. Visitors will be able to find out about careers and training in community and school nursing, meet staff and the Chief Nurse, Eileen Sills at 1.30pm.

District nurses treat patients who need extra care at home (such as treatment following surgery) and school nurses give school children the support that they need. The role of the community nurse has become far more varied and challenging than it was previously.

Karen Buonaiuto, a nurse for 15 years, has been a school nurse for 7 years. She works with children, families and schools in Peckham, Camberwell, Nunhead and Dulwich. She said that modern school nurses deal with a range of issues, from advice on diet, choosing healthy lifestyles and sexual health awareness, to working closely with agencies including social services and the police on complex issues around child protection. They also offer an extensive immunisation programme for children aged between 12 and 14 years.

"Sticking plasters on knees is not what we do", said Karen. "We're probably the first point of contact for the schools if there are concerns about a child who is behaving differently, not looking their best, or who appears unwell."

"It's our job to help the child and their family to get the support that they need. We also train teachers to be confident in dealing with complex health issues so that children and young people can be kept in school and reach their full potential.”

Kemi Akinrinade has been working as a district nurse for the past 16 years and in the community for 7. She provides nursing care to patients who are mainly housebound in their own homes in the Streatham area. 

Kemi said: “I look after vulnerable elderly patients to help them stay in their own homes and to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

“Most of the patients suffer from long term conditions and they require a lot of care. I support them to help manage their own health proactively.  I get great satisfaction knowing that I am doing a job that is well respected and appreciated by the patients, families and the local community.”

Last updated: September 2012

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